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SAP Enhances Value of SAP Customer Relationships
- Industry's Longest Maintenance Offering Extends and Protects SAP Investment
- Collaboration With User Groups Reveals Opportunities for Additions and Enhancements to SAP(R) Enterprise Support
SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced a series of initiatives focused on enhancing value in the relationship between SAP and its customers. Among the latest innovations SAP is delivering to meet customers' evolving needs are new maintenance strategy, new and revised features of SAP(R) Enterprise Support (http://www12.sap.com/...), and a special program to bring SAP's latest technology platform to all customers. Nimbly adjusting to market changes, protecting the bottom line in uncertain economies, collaborating with trading partners and innovating rapidly are critical for a company's long-term success. The ability to optimize IT solutions -- for maximum efficiencies, minimized down-times and rapid innovation -- is a pivotal element in enabling this success. Working closely to address market and user group feedback and input, SAP developed these latest initiatives to provide its customers of all shapes and sizes with better access to tools and solutions that will enable them to become best-run.
Revised Maintenance Strategy Allows Customers More Time for Extended Value Effective immediately, SAP is extending its maintenance offering to provide a total of nine years of support, delivering maintenance for SAP's latest offerings through 2017. Continuing to provide a strong, predictable support structure for its industry leading solutions, SAP is extending its 5-1-2 strategy to seven years, with an additional option for two years of extended maintenance, starting with SAP(R) ERP 6.0 (http://www12.sap.com/...) and any new core applications from the SAP(R) Business Suite introduced by SAP going forward. This 7-2 offering, the longest in the industry, provides customers more time to deploy and realize return on investment via SAP enhancement packages (http://www12.sap.com/...). Now, with a total of nine years of support, customers can more effectively manage their IT investment costs, protect their investment and maximize the opportunity for adoption of application innovations that support their business goals.
User Groups Contribute to New Elements of SAP Enterprise Support to Optimize Innovation for Customers
Working with user groups for customer input and feedback, SAP is continuing to update and enhance SAP Enterprise Support to provide additional value for customers. The adjustments to SAP Enterprise Support further enable customers to protect their IT investment, take advantage of timely delivery of innovations and enhancements, and benefit from the full value of their IT landscape. Now, as part of SAP Enterprise Support, customers are provided up to five days remote advice per year by software architects to assist in evaluating the innovation capabilities of the latest SAP enhancement package and how it may be deployed for business process requirements. This added support will help customers speed time to value for their investments.
SAP has also provided additional clarification and concrete deliverables for areas of SAP Enterprise Support around SAP(R) Solution Manager (http://www12.sap.com/...), enterprise edition, and mission critical support services, including:
- Custom Code Support: For custom code built with an SAP development workbench, SAP provides mission-critical support root-cause analysis for priority "very high" and "high" messages. SAP will offer up to two checks per solution per year to help avoid conflicts between planned custom code/modifications and SAP enhancement packages, based on required minimum documentation.
- Testing Efficiency Improvement: SAP will deliver pre-configured test cases with the SAP Solution Manager, as part of solution configuration templates, to help customers optimize test activities for SAP and non-SAP systems by assisting customers in determining the full scope of testing required.
- Enterprise Support Report: SAP will deliver one SAP Enterprise Support report per year on-demand, providing recommendations to maximize the value received from SAP Enterprise Support.
- Guidelines for Configuration and Operations: For future SAP products and solutions, SAP will provide guidelines and pre-defined content for configuration, as well as best practices for system administration and end-to-end solution operations.
"These enhancements to SAP Enterprise Support bring to the front some hidden gems that are under-hyped by SAP," said Bruce Richardson, chief research officer, AMR Research. "Outlining specifics for value engineering, enhancement packages and solution manager will demonstrate clear opportunities for customers to derive value from their IT investment."
Demonstrating a continued commitment to collaborating with customers on the future of its product and support strategies, SAP and its SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN) worked together to form a task force to aggregate customer feedback and drive SAP adoption and awareness. (See Nov. 6, 2008 announcement, titled "SAP and the SAP User Group Executive Network (SUGEN) Liaise to Quantify Value of New SAP Support Offering." (http://www.sap.com/...))
"SAP has demonstrated a strong commitment to work with the twelve user group members of SUGEN to assure value is delivered not only with SAP Enterprise Support, but with all SAP products and services," said Mike Stoko, chairman, SUGEN. "Based on customer feedback, SAP is collaborating with SUGEN to ensure customers can better optimize their IT landscapes and demonstrate reduced TCO using the additional tools and solutions available through SAP Enterprise Support."
SAP's strategy of delivering innovations to customers via enhancement packages results in continued innovation without disruption. Delivered in smaller, more frequent and easily consumed increments, enhancements to SAP's portfolio of software solutions bring customers the most relevant, up-to-date and innovative software enhancements, making large-scale upgrades obsolete. With SAP Enterprise Support, IT organizations will have additional support in delivering maximum value to the business with timely, efficient and streamlined consumption of enhancement packages.
Paving the Way for Customers to SOA Platform
Knowing that some SAP midmarket customers want to experience the benefits resulting from its latest generation solutions, SAP will study how to make it easier for customers to make the transition. SAP said it was collaborating with its user groups and partners to evaluate how SAP(R) R/3(R)-centric customers can best migrate to the company's enhancement package architecture based on SAP ERP 6.0 and enabled by SAP Enterprise Support. SAP will help these customers reach a fast, secure and efficient path to SAP ERP 6.0 by leveraging its experiences and market-proven know how in solution integration, as already packaged as SAP(R) Best Practices in its SAP(R) Business All-in-One solutions. This will allow all SAP customers to easily move to the most innovative technology platform from SAP and ultimately leverage SAP Enterprise Support to experience and benefit from the full value of their IT landscape.
"SAP is committed to providing its customers a total value proposal as the preferred provider for end-to-end business solutions," said Gerhard Oswald, member of the Executive Board, SAP AG. "Customer benefit is driven by SAP's products and product-related services, which provide continuous innovation without disruption, protection of investment, built-in solution operations and mission critical support. SAP Enterprise Support is the long-term, value realization focused partnership agreement between SAP and its customers. These latest initiatives announced today not only provide direct access to SAP to accelerate innovation, but provide the safeguards for business continuity and reduced cost of operations with a longer return on investment."
About SAP(R) Enterprise Support
SAP Enterprise Support is SAP's new holistic support offering for SAP customers and joins SAP(R) MaxAttention(TM) (http://www12.sap.com/...) and SAP(R) Safeguarding in the company's array of support offerings. For more information please visit http://www.sap.com/services.
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